Borders girl living life in the capital

Botanic Gardens

On one of my days off last week I found myself taking a walk to The Botanic Gardens. There have been some pretty nice Spring days lately but unfortunately this didn't turn out to be one of them. Apparently the morning on that day had been nice but being a day off, obviously I spent the whole morning in bed!! I feel lucky to live only a short walk from the Botanics, it's a lovely place to spend a day off whether it's sunny or not. I do hate sometimes how much my working schedules clash with my friends and boyfriend though. Having my days off during the week means taking to doing things like this by myself which I am pretty used to now, and actually do kind of enjoy. Don't get me wrong, was quite relaxing to wander around the gardens by myself and then sit and enjoy a coffee (and the BEST scone with jam and cream!), but I would love a bit more time to do these things with the people I love.

Although it was a bit of a grey day I still had a lovely walk around the gardens and managed to seek out lots of colour to photograph. I don't claim to be a photographer and only have my phone to take photos, but I do really enjoy it and I'm quite happy with how some of my Botanics photos turned out.

Edinburgh Dungeons

A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to the Edinburgh Dungeons where they were previewing their new 'Deadly Diseases' show for Easter. Having not been to The Dungeons since I was about fourteen I was really looking forward to the night with some of my fellow Edinburgh blogger ladies. The 'getting scared' aspect of the evening hadn't really crossed my mind until I got there and others were making comments about their nerves (Oh yeah, this could be scary!), I actually thought I would be alright with things like this. Well so I thought! ...

The 80 minute tour consisting of 11 different shows, starts in a courtroom where some (unlucky) individuals are chosen to take to the stand and plead guilty to their crimes. From there, as punishment, you will be lead deeper into the heart of underground Edinburgh. The tour explores the historical streets of the city, taking you through a grave yard where you might find Burke and Hare looking for their next victim, and to meet The Green Lady, one of Edinburgh's greatest ghosts. The 'Deadly Diseases' event for Easter is incorporated with a new character in the form of the barber-surgeon (will you brave the barbers chair?!) and looks at the deadly diseases whilst exploring the underground streets of a plague ridden Edinburgh. A section of the tour focuses on the story of Sawney Bean and his carnivorous family who prey on travellers for their next meal. You will be taken on a dark boat ride through the caves of Galloway to find the family (the one section of the tour where I literally screamed!), and when you do, taken to their cave to discover what they do with their victims...and which parts are the tastiest! Nearing the end of the tour you find yourself down at The Grassmarket as a crowd have gathering to watch your hanging. The intense Drop Ride (one of my favourite parts of the tour) gives your stomach an instant sinking feeling, giving the illusion of being hung with the realistic sound effects of breaking necks.

On completion of the tour you will arrive in the new market street gift shop (appropriately named as Edinburgh Dungeons is located on Market Street)! This unique shopping experience gives the illusion of shopping in the cobbled streets of an old market town with gifts displayed on rickety old carts and rat invested boxes. This really helps to continue the whole historical and theatrical dungeons experience right to the very end of your visit.

We were treated really well by all the staff at the dungeons which made it a great evening. Being provided with some food and a glass of wine on our completion of the tour, as well as a sample of gin from the guys at The Gin Bothy on our arrival, were lovely little finishing touches. We also left with a generous goodie bag of pieces from 'market street' such as a tin of Torturous Toffee and a pen with a hidden map of Edinburgh in it (clearly I now have the best pen at work!).

The whole experience is extremely; entertaining, educational, funny, scary...and really quite intense!! The acting, set, costumes, lighting and props throughout the whole tour are flawlessly realistic and really draw you into all the stories and the history, keeping you on each the whole time! I do hope I've not given too much away because it's definitely worth a visit if you're looking for something to do in Edinburgh this Easter, especially when the weather is so poor. I know I'll definitely be back to this award winning visitor attraction with my friends and family soon and really thank The Dungeons for letting me in to review! 

The 'Deadly Diseases'  tour is on until the 10th of April. 
Book your tickets at

Spring in Stockbridge

I love spring. I probably say that about all the seasons when they come around, I'm not sure I could pick a favourite one, they all seem to be just what I need at the time. There's something about both Autumn and Spring though; those days that are really sunny but still quite crisp and cold...I love them. I think I've also always like Spring time because it's both Easter and my birthday. Translate: Spring = sunny days, cake and lots and lots of chocolate! We've maybe not had too many really nice Spring days in Edinburgh yet, but I have managed to capture a few nice Spring scenes in and around Stockbridge. I love how bright the first photo is, it was the nicest morning...which naturally turned into a grey and rainy day about an hour after I took this! There are also some lovely Spring flowers at The Botanic Gardens at the moment, and that last photo, the gorgeous early evening sun on the view from my flat. I do hope there's more of all of this to come. 🌷

A Sweeter Place I've Never Known

...than the rolling hills of The Borders. 🎶

Having been home to The Borders for a few nights last week I was reminded of all the home comforts that come with a visit there (and also reminded that I started writing this post about a year ago and had never finished it!):

The bath. I do have a bath in my flat, but my bedroom has an en-suite with just a shower so I never really use the bath. I do enjoy a good hot bubble bath every now and again though, so I usually save the luxury for when I go home. 

The coal fire. This is something that I definitely miss when I'm in Edinburgh, especially during the winter. You just cannot compare sitting in front of a roaring fire when it's cold outside to sitting against a radiator! 

The electric blanket. There would be nothing stopping me having an electric blanket on my bed in Edinburgh (although I read once that you can't have them on top of memory foam!?) but this just makes sleeping in my old bed so much better! Switch it on an hour or so before going to bed and climb into an already cosy bed...perfect.

The cat. We've always had cats as pets whilst I was growing up so it's definitely a home comfort to have a cat around the house. The cat that my mum has now is the cuddliest cat we've ever had. He's such a big softy and loves a good cuddle.

The inspiration. My mum is very creative and crafty and always has a project on the go. She just finished re-doing our kitchen, painting all of the cupboards with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I always end up feeling inspired when I'm at home, whether it's to start a craft project or even just blog. It was whilst I was at home once that I painted this frame, and last week my mum taught me how to that's my new project.

The familiarity. There's something really comforting about being in a place where you just recognise faces, it makes me feel very at home. When I'm in Kelso I always see so many people that I would say I know, but probably couldn't tell you their names! That makes me sound like a bit of a stalker I know, but if you're from a small village or town you'll understand I hope! 

The countryside. I like to try and get out for a walk in the countryside when I'm at home. Last week I went for a walk up to Smailholm Tower (pictured above). It's nice to have surroundings like that so close by to be able to enjoy. I love going back to being a 'country girl' for a few days!

The nostalgia. Due to the fact that my mum still lives in the same house where I grew up, there's always lots of nostalgia around, especially when I went out for a walk last week. I have very fond memories of my childhood in the country; walking or cycling up to Smailholm Tower with my friends on summer evenings, playing in the fields (and lying down to hide if we saw a farmer coming!) and making dens in the woods! It's always a good feeling to remember those times.

So that's my home comforts, and also a list of things that, one day, my own home will have to have; a bath, a coal fire, some countryside and a cat!! 

Dreaming of Summer Holidays

It might seem a bit early for a summer wishlist post, but having booked a girls holiday to Barcelona at the end of May I've found myself starting to think about my summer wardrobe. I know that I need to invest in some new sandals this year, after wearing the same old favourites for the last three or four years. It's hard working in a shoe shop, and staring at shoes all day, to not start planning which ones I might buy in my head! Both of the sandals pictured are from my work and they are only a few from all the ones that I love. The nude ones also come in tan and black but I'm eyeing up these ones as a replacement for my comfy, can walk all day, go with everything ones. The black ones are made from such a soft leather and I think they'd be perfect for the British summer weather as well as holidays, it wouldn't have to be the most beautiful day here to be able to wear them with jeans. I have also completely fallen in love with this handbag! I really don't need a new bag but wouldn't it just be perfect as a hand luggage bag for my holiday? It's quite pricey but it is my birthday soon (y'know if you're reading this and don't know what to get me!!) The playsuit and the dress pictured are both from H&M, my absolute go-to for all my wardrobe needs. I found that, whilst on holiday last year, playsuits were great for day to night. I wore the ones that I had either to the beach during the day or with wedges for dinner at night, so I think that I'll try and get a few more for this year. And there's not much I need to say about the stripey's just so very 'me'! 

I'm really looking forward to Barcelona in May, and I love how the shops are starting to look a lot more summery now. Even the nicer spring days put me in the mood to update my wardrobe. Fingers crossed I'll be out of my big fluffy coat soon enough!

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